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ELECTRIC DAY

You

Progressive Electronic


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Guldbamsen
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3 stars Final gasps of the seventies

The tail-end of the seventies was a confusing time musically. In many ways you could say that the progressive scene, be that the rock, electronic or both coupled up together - came together in a very homogeneous way that foretold the sonic soap operas of the impending decade. Music got slick and smooth, and a certain metallic and industrial tone had suddenly infected the different recording studios. The sounds of the synthesiser are testimony to this hypothesis of mine. Having spawned from the vibrant and vivacious drive masterly conveyed on classic electronic records such as Alpha Centauri and Blackdance - now those synths took on the very thing that people associated them with: Robots.

You is a fine example of this evolution. They produced their first album in 1979 with the gift of hindsight and the ability to choose from whatever slice of Germanic electro history they saw fit. With the add on of Harald Grosskopf, I guess the group naturally leaned towards that ever so floating Klaus Schulze universe. Remember Grosskopf played with Schulze on the Bodylove soundtrack as well as Moondawn. Still, like I said, the feel of the music is one of order and metal. The recording techniques had revolutionised themselves so as you finally could purchase an album without all of the inappropriate 'noise'... Needless to say(mostly because I keep saying this....) that I've always thought of noise as half of the music. Those ambient oscillations emanating from instruments that take up the invisible room of any recording are priceless and irreplaceable - but whatever you do - don't kill 'em.

Now whilst some sections on this debut album feel somewhat close to the great oceanic textures of the aforementioned electronic guru and pioneer, you also sense a devout and knowledgeable act that know their way around musicians like Moebius, Froese, Schnitzler and Hoenig. The one thing You manage to slap onto the proceedings here that set them slightly apart is speed. The first cut illustrates just how brilliantly and innovatively they do this - sounding like an amphetamine fuelled Berlin school track with a motorik groove that goes faster than anything else from the scene I've come across before.

Other than that, you are facing sequencers up the wazoo, the occasional mellotron as well as those soapy synths that pre-dated the whole 'new age' scene by a couple of years. Real acoustic drumming courtesy of Monsieur Grosskopf and last but not least: Edgar Froese guitar stylings, which incidentally just means David Gilmour butter fingers fondling up the odd guitar string now and again.

I think the tracks on this debut all are pretty good. I actually find some of them quite refreshing and successful, and I'll happily recommend this one to anyone seeking a way into the German electronic scene. I would think the combination of guitar and drums eases the rock fiend's relentless cravings.

If you enjoy the late 70s electronic scene - the moment before the wave broke and flooded the lands with plastic and marshmallow antics, then you should probably take a chance on this recording. Sure, you get a lot of the usual sonic suspects, but there is a charm and warmth to some of these cuts that are as welcome and innovative to the scene as a metallic elbow on your forehead, yet somehow this thing works. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Guldbamsen (BETA) | Report this review (#798374)
Posted Thursday, August 02, 2012 | Review Permalink

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